The charred remains of a 14-year-old boy, Vikas, who had allegedly been kidnapped from his east Delhi residence over a fortnight ago, were exhumed from a BSES storehouse in Karawal Nagar, police said on Saturday.
"The three persons arrested for the heinous crime have been identified as Anil Kumar Sharma, 42, who planned the abduction along with his associates Manish Sharma, 23, and Nikhil, alias Sumit, 26," said IB Rani, deputy commissioner of police (east).
"They are residents of Karawal Nagar and had demanded R15 lakh for the victim, Vikas's safe release," the officer added.
Police said Vikas, a student of class VI at a local government school and a resident of Vivek Vihar, had gone missing on December 15, following which his father Dharam Singh had lodged a missing complaint.
"Dharam Singh used to gamble and had recently lost money to Sharma which he did not pay. So, with the intention of making a quick buck, Sharma lured his son Vikas to his accommodation at Karawal Nagar on the pretext of offering him snacks," Rani added.
According to the police, the trio took Vikas to a BSES storage house next to his residence, where he was smothered to death before his corpse was torched and his remains covered by construction material.
"They did this because Sharma was apprehensive that if the child escaped, he may have revealed his kidnappers' identity to his father and to the police. The trio had made the first ransom call to the victim's father on December 15 itself; 12 more calls were made till Friday evening," Rani said.
"The last call - which was made from a PCO booth in Karawal Nagar - helped us nab them." Police said about 13 ransom calls from various locations on the city's eastern border, such as Loni, had been made to Vikas's father in the last fortnight.
The ransom amount had decreased from Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 12lakh and finally to Rs. 8lakh, before a police team nabbed the trio on New Year's Eve.